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The Healing of Naaman
The Healing of Naaman Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 7/26/17   The tweed sports coat replaced the wool tunic and the polished penny loafer replaced the worn sandal.  The public celebration of perfection replaced the private confession of wrong.  The praise song replaced the hymn of lament, and, over the centuries, a country club for members...
Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 7/19/2017   Religious tourism is up over 150%.  More and more travelers are leaving home to find meaning abroad.  Chanting with the monks in Thailand; breathing with the Sufis in India; seeking counsel with the shaman in Peru; pilgrimaging with the seekers in Ireland.  To encounter the...
Thrown Overboard
Thrown Overboard Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 7/5/17 It’s easy to dismiss Peter for how often he screws-up.  He claims to be pure, saying nothing dirty has ever touched my tongue. He hushes Jesus, stop all your talk about wooden crosses and shallow graves.  He ignores the Prince of Peace, pulling out his sword and...
“The Faithfulness of Unknowing” — Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 6/28/17
Today’s text is omitted from most Sunday school curriculums and avoided by even more preachers and biblical scholars.  Father Abraham is called to kill his beloved son, and it was God’s idea.  In the history of religion, no story is more barbaric. Yet, Judaism, Islam and Christianity all claim to be descendants of this one...
“The Beggar Jesus” — Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 6/21/17
Strange how many Christians believe in a non-judgmental Jesus, as if God is entirely uninterested in the consequences of behavior and the fate of the suffering. But if we only read a half-version of the Gospel focused on love, forgiveness and cheap grace, then we only end up encountering a Messiah of our own making. ...
“An Astounding Welcome” — Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 6/14/17
Biblical scholars argue that the Book of Acts is one long committee meeting.  First on the agenda for the early Church is who should be welcome. The majority opinion must have been: let’s stay in Jerusalem and maintain our members only club, a small collection of men who believe like us, who act like us,...
“Identity Matters” – Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 6/7/17
Exiled in Babylon, displaced from the Promised Land and disoriented by life without a Temple, the Jewish people were in doubt.  And if faith is primarily about remembering all that God has done and is doing, then the Jews were starting to forget. The Book of Genesis is Moses’ written response, a poem about the...
“Left Behind” – Sermon by Rev. Brian Combs, 5/24/17
There must have been a lot of standing around in silence, the disciples staring up at the sky as Jesus levitated away, his shining face veiled by the clouds, his pierced side obscured by the tree tops, the bottom of his worn sandals disappearing into the ether. The modern Church, regrettably, has stood around silent...
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